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MLS Draft 2017: RSL picks Justin Schmidt from Washington in second round

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RSL’s second round pick, 35th overall, is another defender. He’s from University of Washington.

Justin Schmidt playing for University of Washington
Washington Athletics

With their second-round pick, Real Salt Lake drafted University of Washington defender Justin Schmidt as the 35th overall selection in the 2017 MLS Draft.

Schmidt, who played as a redshirt senior in 2016, played in every match for Washington, failing to start only once over the season. In both 2014 and 2015, he started every match.

Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Schmidt redshirted his freshman year. In He scored seven goals and notched 18 assists over his four-year career at Washington.

Interestingly, Schmidt and first-round RSL draft pick Reagan Dunk may be vaguely familiar with each other: They faced off in the 2016 NCAA Championships in a regional bracket, with Denver emerging victorious.

Schmidt was recruited by now-RSL general manager Craig Waibel when he was coaching at University of Washington, so there’s likely to be some sort of familiarity there. That’s certainly not the only reason for this move, and with RSL needing defensive reinforcements ahead of the 2017 season, he might find himself closer to the first-team than most second-round picks.